The fans and celebrities who spent excessive prices for U.S. Open women’s finals tickets thought they would get history.
Instead they got Italian and a big surprise for dessert.
The A-list celebrities were out in force at Arthur Ashe Stadium Robert Redford, Michael Douglas, James Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, Roger Goodell, and David Stern to watch what became the Italian Open instead of Serena Williams making history and cementing the elusive Grand Slam.
But Williams was bounced by Italy’s Roberta Vinci on Friday though neither wound up as the Open champion.
In a battle of Italy’s finest under overcast skies and a packed house, Flavia Pennetta cracked the Vinci code and captured her first U.S. Open championship and first major title in taking out the now-famous Serena slayer 7-6, 6-2.
Teary-eyed, the two Italians friends since age 10 hugged at the net after the match. Then Pennetta popped a surprise with the news she plans to retire after the year.
“It’s my last match and I couldn’t think to finish in a better way to say goodbye to tennis,’’ she said during the trophy ceremony. “All players would like to do go out with this big trophy going home. This is my last match at the U.S. Open.’’